As soon as I got my hands on the LittleBits kit last December, i quickly fell in love with it. With its mission to bring IoT and electronics closer to everyone or in the words of LittleBits themselves …
OUR MISSION IS TO DEMOCRATIZE HARDWARE
It felt very familiar! Salesforce’s own Clicks not Code methodology is effectively the same but for Software! However i quickly found some missing capabilities. While IFTTT (default way to control LittleBits) is great, there is only support for sending a Chatter Post. But no way to have Salesforce control devices or respond to them in different ways.
Immediately i set about to rectify this! With a mission to allow the super inventive Salesforce community to leverage the full capability of LittleBits devices, the LittleBits Connector package was born earlier this year!
Here is very cute creation from SNUGSFBAY using an early release… “this guy’s blue light shines when Salesforce targets are met!”
If your attending Dreamforce, I’ll be explaining more about IoT, its background, why you need to thinking about it and how you can have some fun exploring ideas with Salesforce and LittleBits, click the link below to signup to my session!
Dreamforce Session: Building Your own Internet of Things with the LittleBits Salesforce Connector
Abstract: Devices are soon to out number humans as connected things on the internet! Are you prepared for judgement day? LittleBits is the perfect hardware complement to Salesforce’s clicks-not-code approach. No knowledge of electronics or even how to solder wires together is required. It’s all plug and play, or clicks-not-solder! There are over 40 LittleBits modules allowing projects such as automatic fish feeders, burglar alarms, or anything you can imagine. Join us to see how we’ve built the LittleBits Connector for Salesforce. Learn to connect your own Internet of Things creations to your Salesforce objects, processes, and reports using clicks-not-code via LittleBits
Latest Release of the LittleBits Connector
The latest release of the LittleBits Connector v1.12 now provides full support for integrating with LitteBits devices. Meaning you can now not only tell the device to perform an action from Salesforce, but you can also have Salesforce respond to messages (or events) the device sends. Your imagination is really the only limit! Choose from one of its many input bits, such as sound, movement and other sensors. As before this is made possible without coding at all!
Here is a sneak preview of one of my slides from my Dreamforce session above…
Controlling Devices with Lightning Process Builder
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll have already read my earlier blog describing how to use Process Builder to control LittleBits devices. It works really well and i’ve improved the internal coding for the Process Builder Action contained in the package for this new release. If your a Salesforce user and have not heard of Process Builder, you have my permission to stop reading now and go find out about it!
Controlling Devices with Salesforce Reports
Fellow Salesforce MVP, Cory Cowgill and I quickly found each other online as having had similar thoughts on integrating LittleBits with Salesforce. His sample code for using the Analytics API and LittleBits, inspired me to build a declarative feature in the connector.
Simply create a Salesforce Summary Report and the connector runs the report on an hourly basis and updates your chosen device! In the following example, i created a report showing Closed Won Opportunities for the period, leveraging a formula field in the report to arrive at the all important target percentage i would then pass to my device.
You can then define a LittleBits Report Trigger to tell the connector about the Salesforce Report and some details of where information can be found in the report. The Test button can be used to run the report immediately, so you can check everything is working fine. Finally use the Schedule button on the List View to schedule the job to run hourly.
I’ll be building a device to demo this facility for Dreamforce, signup to my session to see it!
Responding to Devices with Salesforce Visual Flow
Once again inspired by Cory Cowgill‘s sample here, this declarative feature allows you to connect LittleBits sensors (moving, sound, buttons etc) and any LittleBits input bit to Salesforce. Events sent to Salesforce are handled by Salesforce Visual Flow, or more specifically a Autolaunched Flows that you create. This is a very powerful #clicksnotcode tool, meaning the possibilities are practically endless in terms of what you can do in Salesforce in response to events from your latest device!
Once you have configured your org to receive device events, you can setup a LittleBits Device Subscription to start listening to specific events from your devices and routing them to your chosen Flow. You can read more about how to configure your org and these events on the wiki here.
You will have to have some experience with Visual Flow, but don’t be scared its quite easy to use and i’ll walk you through some examples to get you started in my Dreamforce session! Plus there are many many great resources in the Salesforce Community to help you.
The following Flow has only one step, Record Create, that simply echo’s the information passed from the device to a custom object as a kind of device event log. However you can of course do anything you like in Flow with its many conditional and data elements at your disposal!
I’m really very excited to see what happens next in the community with this latest release. There have already been some exciting devices from my fellow MVP’s in the community, what will you build next?!!